When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
Last night the Great American was a sea of dyed black hair and inked skin. The tattooed ranks hung over the balconies and ballooned out from the stage for a great band that called it quits nearly 10 years ago: The Murder City Devils. It was a scene, sure. One woman in line for the bathroom joked that she'd forgotten to get her neck tattoo before arriving. But this was a totally different scene then you get for young, new bands. The show felt like a party, reuniting the true believers who'd lived in Seattle, the city the birthed the Devils, along with fans who'd come out at every one of the band's drunken tour stops in the late '90s. The people who looked most out of place, funny enough, were the Devils themselves, who seemed to have grown out of their delinquent-cool look, aging slightly into beards and new glasses and shirts with buttons. But musically they're still punk as hell, and having cut back the on-stage partying, they sounded twice as fierce as the first round--and just as good as last year's first reunion attempt.
I could give you a play-by-play of the setlist, tell you how good it felt to punch the air with "Rum and Whiskey," or how well Spencer Moody is still able to howl out "Press Gang" and "Idle Hands" like you're getting the stories in those songs through some invisible torture being imposed on him. But really the whole night got me drunk on nostalgia, not only for the music, which didn't offer one dud in the set, but for what was happening during those years when the Devils were proselytizing a noir punk sound haunted by Leslie Hardy's funereal keys. Last night's Murder City show made me miss only one thing more than the Devils themselves: that whole late '90s wave of Stooges-rooted bile.
Sub Pop played home to the Murder City Devils, and before we hit the 2000s too hard, the label had a small but powerful swarm of theatrically-damaged punks. One of my favorites, along with the Devils, was The Catheters (RIP).
Another good one, the Black Halos, whose "Some Things Never Fall" sounded like such the anthem at the time. Sub Pop also released discs by kinda similar, and kinda shitty, but sloppy-fun live rock 'n' roll bands like Sweden's Hellacopters and Norway's Glucifer. Then there was the heavier stoner stuff like Nebula, which brought in the lighter side of sludge with a potency.
You could almost call the late '90s/early 2000s Sub Pop's second wave of grunge. The bands took from punk and metal and added razored hooks, performed shows with the tension of fist-fights, and generally helped a whole generation of rock addicts blow out the tubes.
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"